Looking for a way to send money to family, friends or a business in South Africa (or even to your own bank account overseas)? According to MoneySmart, you should avoid Australian banks and go with a money transfer specialist to get better ZAR exchange rates and lower fees on international transfers.
Based on the providers we've compared, Revolut is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? MasterRemit can get money to your recipient in South Africa within minutes.
As reported by the ACCC, bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to South Africa. Revolut and MasterRemit have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.Remember, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer to South Africa and this has a couple of elements:
Certain providers may give the mid-market rate but add fees on top and others will have low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many rands your recipient will end up with.
Actual transfer times from Australia to South Africa can depend on several factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to South Africa:
The safest way to get your money to South Africa is using a provider registered with Australia's industry regulator, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both Australia and South Africa.
A great way to dive deeper is by reading our reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.
If you need to make a sizable money transfer to South Africa, consider using a provider such as Xe Large Transfers or OFX to secure a better ZAR exchange rate and benefit from its expertise handling larger transactions.Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
To send money to South Africa, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.
Ethan is working in Australia as a software engineer and he stays in regular contact with his elderly parents back home in South Africa. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Ethan plans to send them $2,000 from Australia.
He decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on his transaction.
|Bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 12.24 ZAR||1 AUD = 12.41 ZAR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||2 - 5 working days||Next day|
|Amount received||24,367.06 ZAR||24,782.69 ZAR|
The money transfer company enables Ethan to send an extra R415.63, which is transferred straight to his parents' Standard Bank account.
When selecting a provider to transfer money to South Africa, here are the main factors to consider:
Compared to the start of the year, the Australian dollar is stronger against the rand. Currently $5,000 is worth R62,346.00, whereas at the beginning of 2023, $5,000 was equivalent to R57,957.00. That's a decrease of 7.57%.
Similarly, compared to mid-2022, the Australian dollar is again stronger against the rand. In mid-2022, $5,000 was equal to R56,107.50. That's an increase of 11.12%.
So based on those two data points, yes, it's a relatively good time to send money to South Africa, and your Australian dollars will go further than they would have. But what's more important, however, is the strength of the Australian dollar against the rand and where it goes from here – which is harder to call.
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